Recently, I visited Pietermaai Proeft, a culinary festival in the Pietermaai district. This was the second edition and I was happy to be back!
The bustling Pietermaai neighborhood, by some called the Soho of Curacao, has lots of different restaurants. From BBQ-shack to fancy restaurant, from local Caribbean food to American home-cooking, from classic French to flavorful Asian. Which means plenty of choice for everyone.
It was good to see that many of the neighborhood restaurants were present at the festival. I quickly bought some vouchers and started my tasting tour. My first stop: Brasserie Chapter. This is one of my favorite new restaurants and is situated in the old chapel of boutique Hotel het Klooster. It is run by a passionate young couple. Passionate about good food, and each other so I’ve heard. The pulled pork sliders, grilled picanha and salmon duo were all very tasty. I was equally impressed by their stand, which they had turned into a cosy mini-restaurant with an impressive handmade old-school sign. Great start!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t hang around for too long because there was work to be done. Second stop: the Avila hotel. The lovely dishes that the chefs of Avila’s Belle Terrace restaurant presented last year were still fresh in my mind. And they didn’t let me down this time. The awa lamunchi scroppino was not only stunningly beautiful ánd delicious, but also an original twist to one of our local drinks. Not to mention the tuna tartar cones, which were picture perfect. Well done boys!
Skipping the long line at the bathtub (funny!) – oyster bar, I bumped into a girl from Scuba Lodge handing out free marshmallow-skewers to be grilled at the Scuba stand. Nice touch.
While my stomach was getting rather full, I forced myself to move on. Third stop: Ginger. The charming Indian chef made me a bowl with tandoori-fish and naan bread. The fish was a little on the dry side, but full of lovely Indian flavors. Next year, don’t forget to bring that cool tandoori-oven!
After all this eating, I was getting thirsty. So I moved on to Kome for a well-deserved cocktail. The friendliest cocktail shaker of the island was happy to mix me one. Kome also served some lovely desserts prepared by Sue, the pastry-chef. But I do have a request for David, the chef. Dave: you can’t let your wife do all the work. You’ve come away with it for 2 years now, but at the next edition of Pietermaai Proeft I want to see you in the kitchen!
That being said, I was still thirsty. So fifth stop: Servir Frais. Ahum. I don’t know if you remember last year’s story? But this is where things go wrong, quickly. This is why I have to arrive early at culinary events, before my friends get there. I have now learned. Fifth stop, sixth stop and last stop: Servir Frais. Me, and my friends.
So this is where it ends. I want to apologize to the remaining restaurants. Sorry, I didn’t make it. I promise to do better next year. Third time’s a charm!